With the concept that "we see with our brains not our eyes," a new device allows the blind to "see" using "the nerves on the tongue's surface to send light signals to the brain."
In any case, within 15 minutes of using the device, blind people can begin interpreting spatial information via the BrainPort, says William Seiple, research director at the nonprofit vision healthcare and research organization Lighthouse International. The electrodes spatially correlate with the pixels so that if the camera detects light fixtures in the middle of a dark hallway, electrical stimulations will occur along the center of the tongue.
"It becomes a task of learning, no different than learning to ride a bike," Arnoldussen says, adding that the "process is similar to how a baby learns to see. Things may be strange at first, but over time they become familiar."
Seiple works with four patients who train with the BrainPort once a week and notes that his patients have learned how to quickly find doorways and elevator buttons, read letters and numbers, and pick out cups and forks at the dinner table without having to fumble around. "At first, I was amazed at what the device could do," he said. "One guy started to cry when he saw his first letter."
|Pedal Power Generation|
|Wearable Jetpack for Running|
|Acoustic Barcodes: Passive, Durable and Inexpensive Notched Identification Tags|
|Elevated High-Speed Rail System Propelled by Air Pressure|
|Meet the Canadians who busted GhostNet|
|“Bioinspired Polymeric Woods.”|
|“The more employees are watched, the harder they try to avoid being watched.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“When Life Gives You Lemons.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Social robots will be uniquely personal.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“Long live the instant gratification economy—and the increasingly sophisticated technology that’s enabling it.”|